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Hedonic contrast and the short-term stimulation of appetite

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posted on 2023-06-07, 07:46 authored by Martin YeomansMartin Yeomans, Jenny Morris, Rhiannon ArmitageRhiannon Armitage
Hedonic contrast describes how liking for one item is influenced by the recent experience of other items which differ in hedonic valence. In the context of food stimuli, there is abundant evidence that hedonic contrast alters liking, but limited information on its impact on intake, and the aim here was to further clarify how hedonic impact modifies intake. Participants (96 female volunteers) rated and consumed ad libitum a sequence of four bowls of a snack (potato crisps) in one of three conditions. In the Palatable (salted crisps) and Bland (unsalted crisps) conditions, all four bowls were the same. In the Contrast condition participants alternated between salted and unsalted crisps. In total, significantly more was consumed in the Palatable (35.0?±?2.6?g) than Bland (26.6?±?2.4?g) condition, but most was consumed in the Contrast condition (37.0?±?1.6?g). The impact of hedonic contrast was seen in the third serving, where those in the Contrast condition consumed the most of any serving, and significantly more than in Palatable or Bland conditions, and at the final serving, when those in the Contrast condition consumed significantly less than in Bland or Palatable conditions. Rated liking for the foods showed a similar pattern, with liking decreasing across servings in Palatable and Bland conditions. However, liking was influenced by the preceding serving in the Contrast condition, and the change in liking produced by contrast predicted subsequent intake. Overall, these data provide clear evidence that hedonic contrast can influence consumption, with intake driven by this adjusted liking.


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